Ptilinopus arcanus is endemic to the Philippines, where it is known only by a single female specimen (one of a pair) collected on Mt Canlaon on the island of Negros in 1953. Its population is unknown and, given the failure of any fieldworker to encounter it since its discovery, it must be extremely rare. However, the recent discovery on Panay of threatened species which, until 1990, were known only from Negros, and sometimes formerly Guimaras (e.g. Negros Bleeding-heart Gallicolomba keayi and White-throated Jungle-flycatcher Rhinomyias albigularis), suggests that it is not impossible that this enigmatic bird may be extant.
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